TOUGH START: Nick Kyrgios plays Radek Stepanek tomorrow night in London.
TOUGH START: Nick Kyrgios plays Radek Stepanek tomorrow night in London. Jordan Mansfield

Kyrgios friend now foe

TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios will not be expecting any favours from mate Radek Stepanek in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday night (Australian time).

The No.15 seed has had a torrid year on and off the court and sought solace from the 37-year-old veteran from the Czech Republic.

Stepanek has got the reputation of a being a bit of a firebrand on court, so Kyrgios was happy to take advice from someone who has been around the men's tour for a long time.

No.2 seed Andy Murray struggled to get past Stepanek at the French Open, losing the first two sets before eventually winning in five, so Kyrgios knows it won't be easy.

"To play Stepanek obviously is pretty tough. I'm really good mates with him as well," Kyrgios said.

"To be honest, he was offering to help me a little bit. Not so much coaching, he was just helping me a little bit. So I'm playing him now, it's pretty crazy.

"He's getting towards the end of his career but he's still playing some great tennis. I know it's going to be very tough."

Kyrgios was fined $2000 after swearing and throwing his racquet in the air at Wimbledon last year during his last 16 loss to Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Asked if he had been warned about his behaviour at the All England Club this year, Kyrgios said: "No. I just compete. I thought last year I played all right. I made the fourth round. Lost to Gasquet 7-6 in the fourth set after four hours. Not too bad."

Novak Djokovic will be looking for the third leg of a possible calendar-year grand slam at Wimbledon and his third successive title in London when he takes on Britain's James Ward tomorrow night.

Three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe, now coaching Canadian Milos Raonic, said Kyrgios could be the man to take the mantle of world No.1.

"Nick could be the best player in the world in the next couple of years," he said.

"We could be looking at the future of tennis. If he manages to keep his head on straight. That's a big if but it's doable."

Kyrgios will be one of seven Aussie men contesting Wimbledon, with Matt Barton the big surprise, qualifying for a grand slam for the first time at age 24 after five previous attempts.

Sam Stosur will make her 14th appearance at the All England Club in the women's draw alongside country- woman Daria Gavrilova.

Stosur and Sam Groth will be the only Aussies in action tomorrow night.

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